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Cobalt scavenging in the mesopelagic ocean and its influence on global mass balance: Synthesizing water column and sedimentary fluxes

Cobalt scavenging in the mesopelagic ocean and its influence on global mass balance: Synthesizing water column and sedimentary fluxes
Cobalt scavenging in the mesopelagic ocean and its influence on global mass balance: Synthesizing water column and sedimentary fluxes
In the ocean, dissolved cobalt is affected by both nutrient cycling and scavenging onto manganese oxides. The latter process concentrates Co in pelagic sediments, resulting in a small deep water inventory. While the flux of scavenged cobalt to sediments appears steady on timescales > 100,000 years, its residence time in the water column is short, approximately 130 years. Using results from recent GEOTRACES expeditions, we show net removal of dissolved Co from the deep ocean on the order of 0.043 pM year− 1, which corresponds to a turnover time of 980 years. Scavenging in deep ocean water masses is too slow to match cobalt accumulation rates in marine sediments, requiring most of the scavenging flux to derive from the mesopelagic ocean (< 1500 m depth) where nutrient cycling is active. Based on differences between the Co:P stoichiometry in particles sinking from the euphotic zone and dissolved Co:P remineralization ratios, we calculate areal scavenging rates in the North Atlantic and South Pacific basins on the order of 1.5 and 0.7 μmol m− 2 year− 1, respectively, which agree with long-term accumulation rates in Atlantic and Pacific sediments. In both basins, over 50% of the scavenged flux of cobalt occurs in the upper 500 m, resulting in decadal turnover times in the mesopelagic. An assessment of sources suggests that the marine cobalt cycle is approximately in balance, but that this inventory may be sensitive to long term trends in the intensity of oxygen minimum zones, which account for ~ 25% of the annual cobalt source to the modern oceans.
0304-4203
Hawco, Nicholas J.
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Lam, Phoebe J.
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Lee, Jong-Mi
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Ohnemus, Daniel C.
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Noble, Abigail E.
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Wyatt, Neil J.
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Lohan, Maeve C.
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Saito, Mak A.
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Hawco, Nicholas J.
7d5f734b-180d-4af5-9e5a-946c2b486b8c
Lam, Phoebe J.
edd6ad71-e42a-4157-bb1d-ef0ec23e8210
Lee, Jong-Mi
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Ohnemus, Daniel C.
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Noble, Abigail E.
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Wyatt, Neil J.
258d214b-9dae-4a5f-acc9-c0a55fb66efd
Lohan, Maeve C.
6ca10597-2d0f-40e8-8e4f-7619dfac5088
Saito, Mak A.
1b4d37b4-b875-444d-902a-05a486a0438d

Hawco, Nicholas J., Lam, Phoebe J., Lee, Jong-Mi, Ohnemus, Daniel C., Noble, Abigail E., Wyatt, Neil J., Lohan, Maeve C. and Saito, Mak A. (2017) Cobalt scavenging in the mesopelagic ocean and its influence on global mass balance: Synthesizing water column and sedimentary fluxes. Marine Chemistry. (doi:10.1016/j.marchem.2017.09.001).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In the ocean, dissolved cobalt is affected by both nutrient cycling and scavenging onto manganese oxides. The latter process concentrates Co in pelagic sediments, resulting in a small deep water inventory. While the flux of scavenged cobalt to sediments appears steady on timescales > 100,000 years, its residence time in the water column is short, approximately 130 years. Using results from recent GEOTRACES expeditions, we show net removal of dissolved Co from the deep ocean on the order of 0.043 pM year− 1, which corresponds to a turnover time of 980 years. Scavenging in deep ocean water masses is too slow to match cobalt accumulation rates in marine sediments, requiring most of the scavenging flux to derive from the mesopelagic ocean (< 1500 m depth) where nutrient cycling is active. Based on differences between the Co:P stoichiometry in particles sinking from the euphotic zone and dissolved Co:P remineralization ratios, we calculate areal scavenging rates in the North Atlantic and South Pacific basins on the order of 1.5 and 0.7 μmol m− 2 year− 1, respectively, which agree with long-term accumulation rates in Atlantic and Pacific sediments. In both basins, over 50% of the scavenged flux of cobalt occurs in the upper 500 m, resulting in decadal turnover times in the mesopelagic. An assessment of sources suggests that the marine cobalt cycle is approximately in balance, but that this inventory may be sensitive to long term trends in the intensity of oxygen minimum zones, which account for ~ 25% of the annual cobalt source to the modern oceans.

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Cobalt_Scavenging_Hawco_et_al_Marine_Chemistry_2017_unedited_accepted manuscript - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 1 September 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 4 September 2017

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Local EPrints ID: 414723
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/414723
ISSN: 0304-4203
PURE UUID: 286cd201-e5a1-4a01-97bd-9be1a55be1e8
ORCID for Neil J. Wyatt: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1080-7778

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Date deposited: 09 Oct 2017 16:30
Last modified: 03 Dec 2019 05:49

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Contributors

Author: Nicholas J. Hawco
Author: Phoebe J. Lam
Author: Jong-Mi Lee
Author: Daniel C. Ohnemus
Author: Abigail E. Noble
Author: Neil J. Wyatt ORCID iD
Author: Maeve C. Lohan
Author: Mak A. Saito

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